Goats

If your fence can hold water, it might keep a goat.

 
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Forest Explorers, Forest Managers

Our goats spend their time grazing in pastures cut out of the thick forest. Josh gets out the metal-bladed trimmer, bushwhacks a path for the electric fence, and brings in the goats. The goats strip the leaves of the invasive honeysuckle, gooseberry, multiflora rose, and blackberry. Then, we come in and trim down the branches they can’t reach, and they munch on those. The process repeats every week—well, unless the goats decide to get ahead of us.

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A Long-Term Partnership

We know the honeysuckle that the goats munch and that we cut down will coppice and grow back. But this is a long-term plan. As the honeysuckle grows back, it will feed the next season’s goats. Over the course of several years, we hope to weaken the invasive species and give time and space for native forest plants to grow back, making this forest a healthier one, more like the native oak savanna it once was.

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Did We Mention We Love Them?

This is JFK, one of the handsomest goats of the herd, giving a little love to the Tiffer. Tiffany wasn’t an animal lover, but these friendly, funny fellows won her heart—not just by their antics, but by their ability to take down honeysuckle, multiflora, and gooseberry—to open up the forest floor for the light at long, long last.